Saturday, December 31, 2016
But the one thing I learned was this: it takes more than blood to make family. My adopted daughter is equally as important to me as my biological children. My favorite cousin was adopted into the family. Many of my blood relatives spouses are wonderful and I like having them around.
So it's important to release the negativity and not bother with folks just because they share a bloodline - and focus on people that matter to us.
Friday, December 30, 2016
Ummm. Yeah. (A) computers are hard. (B) you are one stupid bastard. And (C) what does this have to do with the questions at hand about the hacking scandal?
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Friday, December 23, 2016
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
It's all hillarys fault that she lost. The Russians didn't hack anything, that's a lie. You can't brief the electors about anything because they don't have security clearance. The recount failed. Just accept it and move on.
What lays bare here is this persons ignorance. The CIA, as well as the Russians themselves, have said there was an effort to interfere with the election. Let's see what they find before we snap to judgement. That's the American fucking way.
The electors, it is true, don't have high level security clearance. But how about if agents of the CIA present publicly available and relevant facts of the case in a summary to them? Don't filter it through the media or the party. Let them hear it from the source and ask relevant questions. I know why. Because that's rational thinking! Can't have that.
And as for the recounts. Yes, they did Peter out. But do you know why? Because each of the states in question (along with many others) has absurd rules about how a recount works, who pays for it, what triggers it, and if the state supervisor of elections agrees to it. It's a myriad of complex legal questions that aren't easily addressed by just anyone. It goes along with the notion that the elections themselves - from the equipment to the methods used and even ID requirements - are a weird mix that seem ineffective.
The fact that they petered out doesn't mean that they didn't find anything. In fact the anecdotal and early finding suggest otherwise. It is a matter of legal hurdles not being cleared.
As always, educate yourself. Don't open your pie hole to say stuff unless you have an informed position. And don't blindly follow anything.
What I can't tolerate is stupidity. I can't accept that anyone follows things blindly and never questions anything.
You can start the discussion with sports. Some people just follow "their" teams and wind up hating some other team because they're a rival. Doesn't matter if the team is bad, there's always hope for a better tomorrow, a better player or coach, a new owner. Never mind what you pay to be there - after all you give your money and get really nothing in return, other than entertainment. And worse, you're willing to have a verbal or physical altercation with anyone who doesn't see things through your lens.
Next up is religion. I have no issue with anyone believing whatever they want. And following your beliefs in an organized fashion is just fine. But when it dominates everything, then it becomes an issue for me. Don't tell me how I should live. Don't sell me on why your belief is better than someone else's. Don't describe yourself as a [insert religion here] when you are presenting yourself. Be a good person. Follow your beliefs with humility. And most importantly, don't just follow along blindly. Too many wars have been started in the name of religion. Too many people have gotten sucked in and told to give more (financially of course) or to "pray harder" for something...and when it doesn't work out they don't give up the belief, they double down.
And then to politics. I find it frustrating when people from each main party say the other has to be wrong. They label each other (as if it's a dirty word no less) and can't see another point of view. What's the purpose? Aren't we all Americans? Can't we rally around *that*?
To be fair, I admit that I despise the Donald. But it's not because of his party. It's because of HIM. I've detailed that many times. But I find that one party just accepts him blindly - even though he only represents himself and not the party - and the other party is looking for a glimmer of hope and a recognition by the other party to see him as evil.
As I continually remind people, switch roles in your mind. How would you feel if you were on the other side?
I suggest you look at things critically and question everything.
Be reasonable. Stop. Think. Listen. And help yourself by continually learning. Cut out the shit and the noise. Don't follow blindly.
Don't be stupid.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
In those cases, I'm not suggesting they vote for Hillary. But I am suggesting that they should NOT vote for the Donald. Vote for another person, say Rubio or maybe Kasich, or even a fictional one like Captain Kirk. And if you're okay voting for Hillary, then I urge you to do that.
I know some of you may think the election hack is a made up conspiracy. I will continue to argue that it's not. That should be enough to end this debate, but let's say you're right. Look at some of the actions the Donald has taken since winning the "election" - quotes are intentional based on the hack,
* he has gone out of his way to antagonize china
* his embrace of pakistan undermines the relationship with India (a key trading partner)
* his original pick for Secretary of State, one mr patreus, was found guilty of actually having mishandled classified information - the exact crime for which Hillary was accused of, but no evidence supported this claim
* his national security advisor (Flynn) was also convicted of mishandling classified documents.
* his pick for secretary of defense has not been out of the military for more than 7 years, so he is ineligible to hold this position. Unless the senate grants a waiver, which will never happen. So essentially he's wasting time and effort here.
* his new pick for Secretary of State comes with a new set of challenges, primarily related to his business dealings
* most of his cabinet picks are the least qualified people for that particular job; people whose life it was to undermine the agency they have now been picked to represent. I'm not saying some shaking up is bad, but destroying the agencies? Wow. Just wow.
* his potential for conflict of interests re vast and varied and can lead to nowhere good
* he already brokered a deal for his daughter in Japan, and he apparently is working on one in Taiwan for a business of his
* he has created another problem in turkey where his praise for a businessman got the man arrested; and the Turkish government appears to be playing a game to get an Imam extradited in exchange for the release of this guy. Do you honestly think that will ever stop?
* he is down to 73 pending lawsuits. Seventy three.
* he has shown a lack of knowledge about the constitution, and very likely could trample it on day one. It's our most sacred document and one he will swear to uphold and defend.
* there was a sham of a deal for carrier, that got the owners some nice profit in exchange for....raising the stock price, in which the Donald holds a stake...and as for those poor people who lost their jobs they got a "you should have worked harder" message. And the union boss got bullied.
* minutes before he announced his "plans" to cancel the F35, which is made by Lockheed, someone dumped large numbers of shares in the company. A similar occurrence happened weeks ago with Boeing. The SEC will investigate, but there surely has to be a connection.
* he's embraced 140 character attacks and has nothing of substance to say.
* he has told us he's smart, and won't listen to intelligence briefings, but will listen to conspiracy theories because they're interesting to him.
* he is bullying and threatening anyone who opposes him, or his vision. He has even threatened the electors. That can not be acceptable to any rationale person. He simply can not lead this way.
* he has shown no interest in the 330 million people he will represent; rather he spends his time holding self-aggrandizing rallies.
* And oh yeah, he plans to run his companies and executive produce a tv show. Because how hard could it be to run the country?
Stop him. Vote your conscience and keep America great. He is in it for himself and nothing more. We can not let him hold the highest office. And we can not let stand the election interference. You can argue that we do it all the time "so what?" But it is the single. It's important part of our democracy, and we must hold that dear.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Now there's information about a hacked election that benefited the Donald. Those who back him or the republican agenda brush it off as "something made of nothing" and rush in with name calling. And I can see in this age of disinformation (again thank you Russian hackers!) its hard to get to the truth.
But no matter where you fall in this issue consider for a moment: how would you feel if it were on the other side? Suppose a hack benefited Hillary. Would you feel different?
Now back to the larger issue. There is a shift in our stance with Russia. But not in a way that necessarily supports US interests. Look at the people the Donald has put around him. From Manaford to Tillson. Many have strong ties to Russia. And either have or would benefit from allying us more closely with Russia.
Then listen to the (ever changing) words of the Donald. While some of his positions have changed, his position on following Russia's lead in foreign policy has not. Leave NATO? Not protect Europe? Support Assad in Syria? Antagonizing china?
I find it interesting that the shift has gone that far. It doesn't support American exceptionalism.
So you can believe the hacking story or delude yourself there's nothing to it. His position on Russia should make you realize there's something to the connection.
And the day he takes the oath of office is the day that America stops being America.
We need to hold up and wait for the investigation to conclude. And really, a new vote is the only way out. And if he wins again, then so be it.
Monday, December 12, 2016
But. A. See my comment about their level of involvement and interest. And B. their primary focus is within the US. Hacking occurring outside has an impact, but the CIA would be more likely to know the extent of the intrusion.
will push us to option 3.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Full disclosure: I think trump is a total douche. I think he's unfit to be president. But this has nothing whatsoever to do with personal opinion. This has everything to do with democracy, about the core of our system of government. We must not accept this.
As for el donaldo, I could not, for the life of me, figure out how he won. Yeah, he got the fringe people fired up, and winning the primary was a possibility, but it still seemed he should have been weeded out. In the general election, it just made no sense. The math didn't work for me, and the fact that so many people got it so wrong just bothered me. And the notion that there were any (much less 10s of thousands) of "hidden trump supporters" didn't feel right. His fans were passionate and vocal. Why would so many of them hide in anonymous surveys?
Free and fair election. That rattled around in my head. If someone were going to tamper with an election, how would they do it? Perhaps they would do it in many states, to ensure that any one state mixup or recount wouldn't change anything. Perhaps they would select states with large numbers of electoral votes, but whose recount rules were archaic or convoluted. And the simple answer is to have it appear as a couple of smaller, very local problems like a couple of overvotes in some more red districts. Of course you need to ensure that the person you're helping can deflect attention - And he's a master at that.
I never saw election fraud on a grand scale as a real threat. But I had heard a few security types talk about it before the election, as they often do. But I discounted it, as I often do. Maybe this time we should have listened.
For the month, I was a little despondent. It was about the guy who apparently won, but yet it wasn't about that. It's hard to describe, but It was about this nagging feeling that it didn't seem right. That something was amiss. I felt like my intelligence is being assaulted both from the inability to understand what happened, and the continued nonsense being spewed by that same guy. I did a little homework, and knew there were some theories but nothing concrete as to how he managed to pull out a win. It's just so weird, because he didn't just eek out a win, either. But this was one mystery I thought might only be solved in time. I figured it would always be whispers and suggestions. And as a rational person this bugged the bejezus out of me. We live in a society that is free. Intelligent (Well, relatively). And has crowd sourcing and computing. And still no one had anything meaningful. Just observations.
And that's all fine and well, and I'm suddenly feeling energized....but that and 50 cents will get me coffee....the obvious question is: now what?
Can we get out of our own way, and remove the partisanship and look at the real threat to democracy, and do something about all of this?
Saturday, December 10, 2016
There was a character called Dumb Donald, who was basically a nitwit. He's got on a too-big jersey and has a stocking covering his face. He's a good kid, and means well in the story, but he comes across as a bit of a dope.
In one episode he tells fanciful lies.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the soon-to-be idiot in chief reminds me of Dumb Donald in many ways...
Thursday, December 8, 2016
He also once said:
"If there is one thing I've learned in my years on this planet, it's that the happiest and most fulfilled people I've known are those who devoted themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self-interest."
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
"For now, the PISA reveals brutal truths about America's education system: Math, a subject that reliably predicts children's future earnings, continues to be the United States' weakest area at every income level. Nearly a third of American 15-year-olds are not meeting a baseline level of ability — the lowest level the O.E.C.D. believes children must reach in order to thrive as adults in the modern world"
Monday, December 5, 2016
Here is my mantra, the five things I will be doing to make myself better. I admit that some of these are affirmations of things I already do, but I wanted to share them and clarify my position.
1. First up: TV. I will not watch reality shows, or any network news. On the former, it's dullness offends the senses and encourages one not to think. And likewise, I won't be following the lives of any celebrity and their absurd behavior. It serves no purpose. Regarding the latter, it is clear that 24 hour news outlets are motivated by profit and are not in the "news" business; they are businesses that are in it for money - and ratings are directly tied to that revenue. It's as pointless as reality tv.
There are still things to watch: educational programming, some sports, and the occasional movie or tv series are reasonable choices that educate and entertain.
2. Before repeating anything, I will seek to learn if it is true. I will not regurgitate any talking points, or mis-represent facts. In short, I will not accept lies, half-truths, or spout any nonsense. It's counter-productive and shows a lack of intelligence to do otherwise. I won't speculate wildly about anything, either, because the truth matters. If you say something to me, I will ask for your sources and will reject what you are saying if you give me the "inflammatory headline" that isn't supported.
3. I pledge to read more. My goal is a minimum of 6 novels, or "good books" a year. There can be fiction and non-fiction among the works I'll read, and I will get to the actual library regularly because it's a tremendous resource we have available. I won't, however, let any one book (however good I think it is) dictate how I think or live; the most it can be is a component of enriching myself.
I will also read more science journals and articles, and will post a link to at least one interesting article a week. On this point, science is the one thing we can look to for meaningful, observable behavior. It has no agenda, it is the absolute truth and it doesn't care if you believe in it or not.
4. Stop the insanity! Social media is out of control. It's a part of the bigger problem. I will use it to let you know about things that are going on at Disney, and to occasionally pass on interesting facts. But I won't be using social media to engage in meaningless banter, or to simply pass judgement. I also can not accept memes as a way of exchanging information. It dumbs us all down, and you won't see them from me. And where it's appropriate I'll reject what you are saying here too.
5. And finally, I will continue to exercise my mind through various activities. Personally, I will look at new entrepreneurial ideas, app development on a more regular basis, and explore my roots as an engineer to remind myself why I got this education. You may have some other things that you are good at and passionate about - I encourage you to pursue them.
Doing these things will make me a better person, and helps me stay sharp and smart. I hope some of you will take a similar view and help to do your part.
Do what you can to use your mind. Make yourself smart, continue your education if that's on your list, and share what you learn. Only then, can we Make America Smart Again.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Friday, December 2, 2016
Thursday, December 1, 2016
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